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Weighing in on office-type work logistics (esp. w/ young family)


ddcerc

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I would really value hearing some advice about working an "office" job in an RV (especially with a young family, though I know this is probably less common).

 

Our Story...

 

Facts:

  • We are planning to start full-timing later this year in a 2015 Jayco Eagle Premier 375BHFS.
  • I plan to be working at least 20 hours a week on the road / in campgrounds.
  • My wife and I have two small children, which will make this more interesting.
  • I'll probably want to have at least one place to set up a 21.5" iMac (I'm kind of wishing I had ordered the VESA mount version of the iMac... but nothing I can do about that now except possibly trade it in).
  • Also have a small 13" laptop that I should be able to accomplish a good chunk of work from.

Here are some ideas we've had so far:

  • Top candidate is to use the TV space at the end of the bed (as seen in the attached floor plan image) for a standup computer desk (doubting there is room for a sit-stand)
  • I have heard of people exploring using the washer-dryer space in RV bedrooms before – the only thing of course is that we may want to have an actual washer-dryer there (not sure yet). We could probably rig up a sit-stand desk in this space if we sacrificed the W/D.
  • I've even considered of sometimes using the outdoor kitchen as a standing desk option, since we probably won't keep the included microwave out there – this would of course be only some of the time, if at all (might be a pipe dream)
  • If the kids are off hiking or just playing outside, or even in the bunkhouse for an extended period of time, then I can probably get away with working in the common area of the FW.
  • Lastly, also considering setting up in the truck sometimes with the laptop on the dashboard or something.

Thanks!

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Hi!

 

My husband and I are full-timers still working on the road (and lovin' it!) in a 32-foot fifth wheel.

 

We've been doing this for almost 8 years now; and during the first few years, we had Ray's youngest son living with us different days of the week/weekends in a shared-custody situation. The son was a teenager in high school, so we chose an RV park in town that was close to his school so he wouldn't have too far to drive. (We have been empty-nesters for about 6 years.) It would have been very different for us had we had two young ones like yours.

 

We chose not to have a washer/dryer in our rig in favor of more space and less time needing to be hooked up to power and water. It's been relatively easy to find laundromats wherever we've gone, even if we had to drive a ways to a town. A washer/dryer would have required us to be hooked up to power and water frequently (doing a load almost every day because of the small size of the units). We loooove boondocking or staying in the beauty of Nature instead of being in RV parks in cities.

 

I am currently loving volunteering in the office (Ranger Station) 20 hours per week at a state park. In exchange, we get our site free with water, power, sewer hookups. We have also been able to use the park's washer and dryer that are designated for volunteers/camp hosts for free, too.

 

The remaining hours of the week I do virtual assistant work from our RV in the common area at the dining room table. We had office space custom-built into the back of our rig that accommodates another computer, a faxer/copier/scanner/printer, 4 file drawers, and storage space. Whenever we scout for a place to park our RV, we always consider the strength of the cell phone signal (we have Verizon and a Verizon hotspot) to send and receive emails, downloads/uploads, etc. We have also invested in a Wilson cell phone amplifier to boost the cell signal. You would be amazed at the beautiful places in nature that we have found to park our rig AND still be able to operate our businesses! (If you are an Escapee, Guy Gipson's "Day's End Directory" is a really great resource.)

 

If you are also looking for virtual office jobs, I have had a good experience with Elance.com.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Safe and happy travels,

Lyn

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Cool – thanks both for sharing! Will review. :)

We are part of the "old retired" crowd so can't help with current work information, but I did want to welcome you and to encourage you to move ahead with your plans. The opportunities for remote job opportunities and for seasonal or temporary work are as good today as they have ever been and I strongly believe that you can do this. We need more young folks like yourselves in our club so we wish you happy travels and every success!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would really value hearing some advice about working an "office" job in an RV (especially with a young family, though I know this is probably less common).

 

Our Story...

 

Facts:

  • We are planning to start full-timing later this year in a 2015 Jayco Eagle Premier 375BHFS.
  • I plan to be working at least 20 hours a week on the road / in campgrounds.
  • My wife and I have two small children, which will make this more interesting.
  • I'll probably want to have at least one place to set up a 21.5" iMac (I'm kind of wishing I had ordered the VESA mount version of the iMac... but nothing I can do about that now except possibly trade it in).
  • Also have a small 13" laptop that I should be able to accomplish a good chunk of work from.

Here are some ideas we've had so far:

  • Top candidate is to use the TV space at the end of the bed (as seen in the attached floor plan image) for a standup computer desk (doubting there is room for a sit-stand)
  • I have heard of people exploring using the washer-dryer space in RV bedrooms before – the only thing of course is that we may want to have an actual washer-dryer there (not sure yet). We could probably rig up a sit-stand desk in this space if we sacrificed the W/D.
  • I've even considered of sometimes using the outdoor kitchen as a standing desk option, since we probably won't keep the included microwave out there – this would of course be only some of the time, if at all (might be a pipe dream)
  • If the kids are off hiking or just playing outside, or even in the bunkhouse for an extended period of time, then I can probably get away with working in the common area of the FW.
  • Lastly, also considering setting up in the truck sometimes with the laptop on the dashboard or something.

Thanks!

 

Advice on your Mac, I'm a full-time web developer for a company in Paris, France and my wife is help desk support for Basecamp.com - We both work remotely.

 

Ditch the iMac, get a MBP or MBA and an external display. You said you have a small one already, hope it's enough, if not focus on upgrading that.

 

I can tell you from experience already sometimes you will want to sit somewhere else. I've been working remotely for some time, and in my home I had a dedicated office area, but it was nice from time and time to take the laptop off the stand, and go work on the porch or at some coffee shop.

 

We also have two under two. And internet is going to be more of a concern than your work space.

 

We'll be upstate New York this June getting a custom standing desk built for our Airstream.

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The latest version of the Raspberry Pi will be able to run Windows 10 and has an HDMI output. It can also be used with any wireless keyboard/mouse. This would mean that you could have a very small computer and use it with an existing HDTV (most of which will happily accept HDMI input) and standard off-the-shelf keyboards and mice as well as standard external hard drives.

 

If you have not yet heard of the Raspberry PI, it is a tiny (not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes) computer. The older versions only run on Linux but the newest version is capable of running Windows 10 (which MS has said it will make available for that platform).

 

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/2/7962179/raspberry-pi-windows-10

 

The device itself, along with a case and other bits, is available on Amazon now for about $70: http://www.amazon.com/Guide--Clear-Case--Power-Supply--WiFi-Dongle--Kingston-Adapter--HDMI/dp/B00MV6TAJI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426953523&sr=8-2&keywords=raspberry+pi+2+model+b

 

Windows 10 for the device may not be quite ready yet but it appears that Windows 10 will be free when it is ready.

 

WDR

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My wife just found a ottoman/desk in a catalog today. The top (a hard surface, so not much of a real ottoman) pulls up and back to form a desk with storage inside. The desk surface is 32" x 17.5" so a nice size for my laptop and other things. I plan on using it in the living area connecting to the TV as a second monitor. The LR and the ottoman/desk gives me a nice sized "office" .

 

If is sounds interesting, I'll look it up and send more info.

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  • 1 month later...

Not much to contribute here, but I am starting the research process to hopefully put us on the road in the next several years, so I will be following threads like these so that I can get in site as to how working folk with kids on-board make this happen. I check out the Bold & Adventurous blog, and love the tiny house, huge backyard statement. It truly resonated with me. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

Kim

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